Frank Matthews Story | Al Profit

0, 0} Frank had more money than the Mob [00:00:06.87]
Matthews was the number 1 [00:00:09.59]
He would have ruled the United States [00:00:11.45]
He’s literally fallen off the face of the earth
[00:00:13.32] A lot of people looked up to Frank, for probably
all the wrong reasons. [00:00:19.25]
In my opinion, Frank Matthews was a much larger drug-dealer than Frank Lucas.
[00:00:29.43] In 1971, Frank Matthews first came on the
police radar, but only by luck. [00:00:33.69]
It was rather peculiar. Got a report from some precinct, that there were some unusual
goings-on in an apartment building in Brooklyn. [00:00:47.07]
was going on, and Kowalski comes along [00:00:50.92]
He was living in 130 Clarkson Avenue, in Brooklyn, which incredibly, as you imagine this was
the same building–apartment building–that Frank Matthews was living in
[00:00:59.24] Well this guy was complaining that all the
parking spaces around his house on the weekends are all taken up by out-of-state cars, all
going in to one apartment. [00:01:03.24]
And he started doing some investigating [00:01:11.23]
And he saw a lot of these guys were big time drug dealers, that had charges against them
or being investigated, coming from all over the east coast, and from the midwest.
[00:01:21.43] And this was in about 1970 that it began.
[00:01:24.70] About 18 months or so later, he presented
it to his superiors. [00:01:30.18]
And that’s when the investigation began. [00:01:33.49]
Special Agent Gerard Miller and Detective Roger Garay came to our office to break some
bread with us and talk about a case they had called The Frank Matthews Case.
[00:01:37.49] Once they got the wire taps up on Matthews’
phones, the feds quickly realized just how big of a fish they had caught in their net.
[00:01:51.48] They had a wire tap going, and I heard enough
to know that we’re not dealing here with an ordinary Brooklyn-based drug operation.
[00:01:59.68] It’s very huge
[00:02:01.70] Nobody knew about this! I mean, you know,
he was developing his network. He wasn’t even on the radar.
[00:02:08.42] They had no investigation going, he was making
millions of dollars a year, and if it wasn’t for one cop, named Joe Kowalski, the investigation
might not have started for another ten years. [00:02:21.10]
DEA quickly realized that Matthews was setting up hundred-kilo deals down in Venezuela with
the French Connection, which would’ve made him one of the biggest heroin dealers in the
country already at that point. [00:02:30.06]
We got calls with unbelievable people, of which I won’t discuss.
[00:02:35.23] The DEA office in Greensborough that I worked
very closely with at the time got a phone call from a pharmacist, I believed, in Rocksborough,
North Carolina, reported to them that a black male wanted to purchase, I think, a 55 galon
drum of mannitol, which is a cutting agent. [00:02:53.01]
That’s when his name first came to my attention. [00:02:57.15]
So a federal team was formed, consisting of DEA, IRS, and federal prosecutors, to go after
Matthews. [00:03:03.86]
Much like what happened with the prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s, that gave birth to
what we know now as organized crime in this country, the so-called mafia.
[00:03:16.99] In the 1960s there became a huge demand for
drugs in this country. [00:03:19.86]
That gave rise to a new kind of organized crime, what I call drug kingpins or drug lords.
[00:03:27.85] When Frank arrived in New York, probably in
’66 or ’67, city in the whole country was really going crazy.
[00:03:34.08] Crime had doubled in a few years, there was
the civil right movements, the war in Vietnam, and drugs.
[00:03:40.10] In 1959, there was about a hundred thousand
heroin addicts in the country. [00:03:44.36]
By ’69, there was over a million, and most of them were in the New York area.
[00:03:48.82] It became almost like a perfect storm, and
I was thrown right in the middle of that. [00:03:55.71]
In 1971, I had a front-row seat to what was really going on in the drug game.
[00:03:59.11] In ’70, ’71, heroin was endemic on the entire
blocks in Brooklyn. [00:04:03.11]
Entire apartment complexes were addicted, and small ten dollar packages of heroin was
being used, and [00:04:05.11]
President Nixon was furious. [00:04:13.90]
We must wage what I have called total war against public enemy number one in the United
States, the problem of dangerous drugs. [00:04:22.24]
The president called all of us down to The White House for a meeting on his drug-abuse
plan. [00:04:28.24]
He was livid with rage when I told him what was going on in Brooklyn.
[00:04:31.75] We had a heroin problem in the country, and
definitely in New York City. [00:04:37.75]
And heroin addicts created violence against innocent civilians.
[00:04:42.91] They’d come from Staten Island, New Jersey,
Long Island, Connecticut. [00:04:48.86]
When you think about New York City in the 70s, you look over your shoulder three or
four times before you got to the train station or your car.
[00:04:56.44] I mean, it was a gangster town. Nobody wanted
to go to New York City. [00:05:00.02]
The politicians made a lot of noise, the media focused on that, which forced law enforcements
to go after those guys that were dealing heroin. [00:05:07.95]
And of course you couldn’t have all that crime without police corruption.
[00:05:12.16] Some former pushers say police were more interested
in getting their heroin than arresting them. [00:05:17.76]
On one occasion, I was dealing drugs and they came and took all my drugs and just let me
go [00:05:26.08]
Six weeks ago in Harlem, Black Panthers seize large quantities of heroin from drug peddlers
and poured it over the street. [00:05:34.75]
They refused to turn it over to the police because they insisted the police will only
resell it to the pushers. [00:05:40.40]
It still took a little while before he was taken seriously.
[00:05:45.21] Let’s face it, they couldn’t believe that
this black guy, you know, was–was working in 21 states, you know,
[00:05:50.21] with this huge network and people were coming
from all over the country to buy dope from him.
[00:05:55.93] In the 70s, … civil rights, when the African-Americans
were becoming more prominent in business, the drug dealers wanted to do the same thing.
[00:06:04.66] A study was done in the mid 60s in a single
black and Spanish harlem. [00:06:09.58]
They found that 33% of the population was addicted to heroin.
[00:06:13.59] One third of all the men, women, and children.
[00:06:16.76] And Frank Matthews at that time, I think,
was probably under 30 years old. [00:06:21.36]
Was extremely bright, had good leadership skills, and had convened a meeting of all
of the top African-American and Hispanic drug dealers in Atlanta, Georgia, 1971.
[00:06:34.24] And I assume that this means that he had finally
gotten confident that he had locked in his contacts with the French Connection down in
Venezuela and he was really ready to roll. [00:06:45.52]
And his goal was to unite and form a family where they cut out the Italian mafia and went
right to the source of heroin and boarded in the control of distribution.
[00:06:53.71] Miami, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Atlanta,
similar information was coming back. [00:07:00.49]
Some guy named Matthews was behind the local organization in those cities.
[00:07:04.23] And he had been identified as one of the largest,
if not the largest heroin trafficker in the United States.
[00:07:10.86] It has been a lot of recent movies on Lucas
being the king of drugs, that’s not true. [00:07:15.65]
And Matthews was the number one heroin pioneer. [00:07:22.11]
Nicky Barnes, and all of them. They were nothing. They couldn’t touch Frank.
[00:07:28.13] I don’t know where they build the mob up like
that. [00:07:30.30]
Nicky Barnes was supplying New York. Frank was supplying about 25 states.
[00:07:37.12] Had he not been–his wings had not been clipped,
in ’72 he would’ve ruled the United States. [00:07:44.10]
In my opinion, Frank Matthews was a much larger drug dealer than Frank Lucas.
[00:07:48.44] So here you have a black guy, meeting a Cuban
to a Puerto Rican to get heroin from French gangster.
[00:07:56.38] The united nations of crime.
[00:08:00.48] Black power was for equality for African Americans.
[00:08:05.76] Black gangsters, were committing crimes.
[00:08:10.39] They’re destroying the community, ok? So,
you know, as I say in the street, you don’t wanna get this thing twisted.
[00:08:16.15] Even though the US economy was booming in
the late 60s, the inner cities were dying. [00:08:20.57]
Just as the black population started coming up to the north and mass industrial jobs started
declining. [00:08:29.07]
By the early 60s heroin was getting popular in places like Harlem, Baltimore, Detroit.
[00:08:34.99] And then around 1964, ’65, it was really growing.
It was booming like.. [00:08:41.44]
A river of money is flowing because business is so good.
[00:08:44.83] Put this together with the big pool of unemployed
black males that were on the streets in the cities, and you have the birth of a new industry.
[00:08:53.57] Tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of
people standing on the corner, selling drugs. [00:09:01.05]
And that’s the world that Frank Matthews took over.
[00:09:04.64] My name is Clinton “Shorty” Buise.
[00:09:10.05] I was born in Baltimore, Maryland.
[00:09:11.34] It was a poor community. We lived in poor
housing. From that poor housing we went to poor schools, received a poor education, and
it turned us right back into the poor community. [00:09:26.17]
I grew up in small tobacco farm in Eastern Carolina, not far from where Frank lived.
And I actually grew up in sort of similar circumstances, you know, my fater was a.sharecropper.
[00:09:38.94] In 1959 I went to New York as a gambler. So
I used to gamble and play … cards, I was what you call a Solomon.
[00:09:49.72] I had a lot of sympathy for them. A lot of
them were extremely intellegent. [00:09:55.36]
We didn’t have many choices. So when you don’t have a choice, you have to take a chance.
[00:10:02.77] They could not make money in the real world.
[00:10:09.49] They were not given the education opportunities
that the whites had. [00:10:13.79]
So a lot of us took to what was available for us. You know, gambling, trying to pimp
women, drug-dealing. [00:10:24.16]
I needed money. [00:10:26.29]
I liked nice clothes, pretty women. [00:10:29.43]
They paid you, what, a dollar fifty five an hour, and the only other way I knew to earn
that type of money, was in narcotics. [00:10:38.58]
African-American parents, my parents they marched with Dr. King, but that became something
they wanna fill their children. [00:10:45.28]
To be able to go to college, to be educated, and become earners in society.
[00:10:49.36] And the drug guys were pushing heroin.
[00:10:52.17] Well I started in the drug game kinda early.
[00:10:55.20] In the early 60s, sellin’ what they call the
yellow jackets, and red devils,.. [00:11:00.90]
So you had kids who–that … that struggled and marched and wanted to make sure that it
was truly successful, suddenly got involved in drugs.
[00:11:11.61] So it was just destroying the African-American
community. [00:11:13.86]
I went to the corner of, uh, 100 Eleventh street, 7th avenue, bought 65 dollars worth
of dope, brought it back downtown, bagged it up into two-dollar bags.
[00:11:25.33] The guy who might have been a stick-up guy,
he might’ve stopped sticking up and start selling drugs cause he had less chance of
getting caught. [00:11:33.17]
Just start gravitating toward that way of life.
[00:11:39.09] To try and understand Frank Matthews you have
to understand the area around Durham, North Carolina.
[00:11:45.20] That’s where he grew up in, and it was a really
unique time and place. [00:11:48.62]
Three of the biggest drug kingpins in the United States at that time were black and
were all from North Carolina. [00:11:56.75]
It was Frank Lucas, Leslie “Ike” Atkinson, and Frank “Pewee” Matthews.
[00:12:02.70] I was working at a supermarket, he was working
over at North Durham. [00:12:06.23]
All of us were trying to, uh, make a nickel and a dime to keep ourselves going.
[00:12:10.03] I met him, and we clicked and talked and everything
else, and it was like two homeboys. [00:12:16.60]
Durham, North Carolina is deep with rich black history
[00:12:24.30] Some of the first in the United States of
America, coloured, nigra, African-American, black, who did what they did came from Durham.
[00:12:32.58] Durham was called the, uh, the Black Wall
Street. [00:12:35.20]
We had our own shoeshine parlor, our own insurance company, our own banks, we had our own schools,
we had our own fire department. [00:12:43.86]
I’m at Scarborough & …. Funeral Home, family business in Durham that started out in 1871.
[00:12:50.58] We’re the fifth oldest black funeral home
in the United States. [00:12:55.31]
Me, just being a southern country boy, I thought black and white relations were great.
[00:12:59.49] A lot of blacks in Durham had a lot of money.
[00:13:02.76] There were very wealthy in blacks in Durham.
[00:13:05.59] We had three white business, one oriental
restaurant, a hundred and twenty five black businesses.
[00:13:12.37] But Durham, in comparison to other cities
in the south, was not a rapid racist place. [00:13:15.43]
No murders, no hangings, no lynchings. [00:13:18.34]
The whole atmosphere in Durham in the 50s and 60s, gave us the incentive to try and
achieve more. [00:13:27.74]
And I’ll always use the word “the Godftather”. [00:13:29.83]
The Godfather to the black community back in the late 1800s was the man himself, Washington
Duke, of Duke University. [00:13:39.96]
The high school Frank attended produced many notable people.
[00:13:45.61] And it’s sent most of its graduates out to
college. [00:13:48.91]
And I came from a family of 13. And out of our 13, 12 of us went to college.
[00:13:55.27] He came from a thriving community that produced
a lot of people that really succeeded in mainstream society.
[00:14:03.27] Now why he chose to take the path he did is
probably a secret we’ll never know. [00:14:08.50]
My classmate, Shirley Caesar, the gospel singer. [00:14:12.94]
Ernie Barnes, the artist, my classmate. [00:14:17.14]
They got 325 people out of my graduating class from Hillside, I think 300 of us went to college.
[00:14:29.13] The briefs written for the supreme court decision
on de-segregation, written in North Carolina college in Durham.
[00:14:30.52] We knew we had to be the best. We were taught
that by our parents. [00:14:35.25]
It wasn’t unusual for young blacks in that day to want to move up ….They all want to
make it big. [00:14:42.32]
Ironically, Frank Matthews’ only real conviction that we know of was for stealing chickens
down in Durham when he was a teenager. [00:14:51.91]
I think it was spring in 1961 and it was a real pretty saturday afternoon.
[00:14:57.64] Me and one of my partners received a call
into an old farmer’s poultry department, someone’s stealing chicken.
[00:15:05.21] Saw a young black male running through the
woods behind some houses back toward Canal Street in Durham
[00:15:12.08] Saw the young gentleman come up to a house
on Canal Street and we approached him and we incidentally–we arrested him for stealing
chickens that day. [00:15:23.58]
That all of us were thieves per se, because all of us made a side hustle here and there.
[00:15:31.23] But no, he just got–the rumor was he got
arrested for stealing chicken. [00:15:37.27]
He may have gotten caught, but wasn’t the only one that stole chickens.
[00:15:40.36] The best i remember we said to the judge that
he was cooperative with us and being a 16 year old, I think the judge slapped him on
the back of his hand. [00:15:49.61]
And he left Durham probably the year after he was arrested here.
[00:15:55.62] So Frank leaves Durham as a teenager and he
goes to Philadelphia. [00:15:58.98]
He stays there briefly, it appears he got in some kind of trouble for running numbers
there, but probably not convicted of anything. [00:16:09.42]
And he left Philadelphia and he goes to Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn and becomes a barber.
[00:16:15.56] Barbershop’s a perfect place to keep running
numbers. [00:16:24.87]
You wanted to be a big time gangster, where would you go?
[00:16:27.42] You’d go to New York City.
[00:16:30.47] He started off as a barber in Bedford-Stuyvesant,
met a big time numbers king who, because of Frank’s personality I guess, took him under
his wing and tried to get him introduced into the Italians so that Frank could get into
the drug trade. into the drug trade
[00:16:44.71] It’s very unclear what happened at the meeting.
[00:16:48.67] I believe it was with the Gambino crime family
and they turned him down for whatever reason. [00:16:53.14]
And so Frank for all intents and purposes should have been shun out of the drug trade
and maybe end up as a low-ranking member of the trade like most blacks at that time.
[00:17:02.79] At that time, we really didn’t believe that
the backgrounds of these people in the inner cities didn’t give them the power to do the
things the mafia did. [00:17:15.35]
It was a monopoly. It was one of the biggest monopolies in history.
[00:17:18.51] Ninety-five percent of the heroin coming into
the United States at that time came through the so-called French Connection.
[00:17:25.93] You had poppies in Turkey, you had the laboratories
in Marseilles, and you had the distribution network to Montreal in New York City
[00:17:33.50] Through the Puerto Rican numbers dealer, Frank
made another contact, Rolando Gonzales, who was Cuban.
[00:17:39.75] Gonzales got indicted in New York, and fled
to Venezuela. [00:17:43.24]
But before he left he sold Frank his first kilo of drugs and Frank was off and running.
[00:17:50.49] Rolando was an astute dealer, and he wanted
to meet Frank. [00:17:54.49]
So Gonzales gets down to Venezuela and he hooks up with the remnants of the French Connection.
[00:18:00.22] Frank was going down there that one time for
other people than himself. [00:18:08.34]
Then Frank showed up alone. [00:18:09.63]
And then he became so powerful that they decided to work with him.
[00:18:13.13] Frank is on his own, and he’s getting heroin
directly from the French Connection. [00:18:17.22]
The only black guy, the only non-mafia person, really, in the United States to be dealing
directly with the French Connection. [00:18:26.52]
The drug connection was sacred. [00:18:29.44]
If you had a drug connection, man, you had something going on.
[00:18:34.73] He did go down to Venezuela, Caracas.
[00:18:45.19] He was waiting in the delivery of 60 pounds
of heroin [00:18:49.09]
It was really a golden time to be a drug dealer. [00:18:53.51]
The US economy was hitting on all cylinders, the streets were full of money.
[00:19:07.40] So any night of the week everybody has on
their jewelery, their furs, or some other times their diamonds, their cars, they come
up they women, on any given night [00:19:08.42]
Frank Matthews, Nicky Barnes, Pee Wee Kirkland [00:19:14.60]
It was a joyous time in New York [00:19:18.50]
Everybody was making money. Everybody was happy.
[00:19:21.46] People running from this place to that place.
It was just marvelous. [00:19:24.14]
It was a marvelous place to be. And then you had a lot of night clubs in New York that
were so fabulous. You had the bell, crook, and candle on 8th Street, you had Wilt Small’s
Paradise. [00:19:35.53]
Cause all the cuties would be there. [00:19:40.24]
All the players would rock too.And those were all in Harlem. I’m a Harlem knight.
[00:19:49.50] Frank was supplying the biggest drug dealers
in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Boston, New Haven Connecticut, Miami, New
Orleans, all over the country. [00:20:02.81]
In terms of the New York scene, he’s definitely the biggest gangster that came out of New
York, and he may be the biggest gangster, period.
[00:20:11.41] Now I have never seen Frank with any money
or doing any deals or anything like that. [00:20:19.06]
His relationship with me was one good friend to another good friend.
[00:20:23.03] His word to my word.
[00:20:25.22] He was a guy that had great leadership skills
and knew how to control the product, he had distribution all along the east coast and
controlled the organization through violence and intimidation.
[00:20:34.67] Because I don’t know what Frank did for a
living, but I know he was always there for me if I needed him.
[00:20:41.36] Within a couple of years, he was one of the
biggest drug dealers in the history of the country.
[00:20:47.26] And it’s really amazing.
[00:20:48.82] I mean, you look at the records from that
period, there were dozens of people from all over the country dealing with him.
[00:20:56.78] DEA had information he was getting heroin
in up to a hundred kilo increments–pure heroin–from the Fench Connection.
[00:21:03.38] By the time those hit the street at, say,
10% purity, that means a hundred k’s is a thousand k’s and if they’re 20.000 dollars
each wholesale, it’s 20 million dollars. [00:21:14.37]
You know, we talk about Frank Lucas, right? [00:21:17.42]
We talk about Nicky Barnes. [00:21:19.48]
They were essentially New York dealers, New Jersey dealers.
[00:21:21.44] That’s all I heard.
[00:21:22.92] Nicky this, Nicky that. Nicky, Nicky, Nicky.
[00:21:26.70] I didn’t really understand about Frank until
I rose in this lifestyle. [00:21:33.96]
If he wasn’t investigated, he probably would have set up a truly national and eventually
an international network that would’ve just boggle the mind.
[00:21:43.76] He was in a league of his own.
[00:21:46.41] He was a top–not only an organizer, but a
businessman. He saw himself as that. [00:21:53.67]
He posed as a real estate developer which was a front, but he bought a whole series
of properties of land where he was informed the federal highway was going to go in.
[00:22:03.00] Had that gone through, he would have been
a multi, multi-millionaire just on the real estate..
[00:22:09.19] This is the story that I know to be true,
you know, because I was there when the gentleman asked him and reminded him.
[00:22:15.78] He had given a million dollars to a friend
to hold and disappeared again. [00:22:22.62]
So when the gentleman sees him, again he said “Frank, when you go come get that money?”
[00:22:28.05] And Frank goes “What money?”
[00:22:32.05] And he said “Man, remember when you gave me
a shopping bag. Those shopping bags? That money?”
[00:22:37.01] He said “I’ll come get it in a week or so.”
[00:22:39.61] So? How much money does he have?
[00:22:42.69] When I first met him, his name was not out
there like that but years went, a couple of years later, ’68, ’69, his name was ringing
like doorbells. [00:22:54.86]
Word was in Durham he has taken over the black mafia, was the word in Durham.
[00:22:59.54] And it was the way it was described back to
us at the police department. [00:23:02.90]
And I said, “Not little Frankie. Ain’t no way in the world he can get that big.”
[00:23:06.03] And he did.
[00:23:07.62] First time that I saw him, he was just like
a little country boy to me. He was dressed in a plaid shirt I think it was.
[00:23:14.62] On lenox avenue on 100th and 40 something
street, and I started, you know, following–Frank was doing a walk and talk with somebody on
the street, and I’m watching the movements of Frank and I smacked right into a car.
[00:23:30.19] Frank came over and said “Oh these damn photographers,”
you know, “Damn drivers” “Honky drivers.” [00:23:38.65]
I tell you, he was ahead of us all the time. I hate to say it.
[00:23:42.95] I’d say he was definitely smarter than Frank,
okay. [00:23:49.05]
Frank Lucas, yeah. Definitely. [00:23:51.55]
You know, the reports are he controlled the eastern seaboard.
[00:23:55.17] So he was definitely a leader. At a very young
age. [00:23:59.90]
He had this penchant for blondes. He befriended one, bought her an apartment, but beat the
hell out of her. [00:24:08.19]
At one time, he had too much coke in him. [00:24:12.38]
At the same time, he had a common-law wife, named Barbara Hinton.
[00:24:17.09] He was married and had three children.
[00:24:19.46] Franks’s appetite for women was legendary.
[00:24:22.48] He supposedly had girlfriends all over the
country, but he still maintain a fairly normal home life with Barbara Hinton and his kids.
[00:24:33.71] And Barbara Hinton even hired a tutor to come
into the house, you know, like a typical middle-class mother to help the kids after school.
[00:24:39.08] started teaching in Brookly in 1968 at one
elementary school. [00:24:46.36]
Grade four at the time. And around 1971 I started working for a tutoring service in
Brooklyn. [00:24:52.36]
And one of the clients that we had was who I call the Matthews family, and I was sent
there probably because I lived and worked in the area where they lived.
[00:25:02.55] They lived in Flatbush, I lived in Flatbush
and worked in Flatbush area, so I was probably the closest tutor.
[00:25:08.38] So I was sent to their home in the apartment
in Clarkson Avenue. [00:25:12.45]
Very nice boys, very well-behaved, did the work, in all honesty I don’t think they necessarily
needed tutoring per se. [00:25:20.42]
I was paid weekly, yes, I was paid a hundred dollars for the week.
[00:25:24.30] So I never really got into what Mr. Matthews
was doing. [00:25:28.61]
At one time, she once mentioned to me something about they were in real estate and then I
just assumed that they were in real estate. [00:25:36.97]
I rang the bell and the door opened and it actually was Frank Matt–who now I know was
Frank Matthews. [00:25:42.33]
And he told me that the family would be there in a few minutes, that it was–you know, they
were out whatever they were doing, and I should come in.
[00:25:49.23] By this time Frank is generating unheard of
amounts of cash. [00:25:53.87]
The feds heard him on a wired tap, it’s some deal in a hotel in the bronx, talking about
having four million dollars in cash with him. [00:26:02.60]
It was right by the 41st precinct there was a stadium motel.
[00:26:08.13] He put four million dollars on the table,
at one time. [00:26:14.40]
And he bragged about this and he says “let me see if you can match this.”
[00:26:18.47] And nobody could at the time.
[00:26:20.23] Now four million dollars in cash in 1971 or
2 is like 25 million dollars now. [00:26:27.54]
So those were the amounts of money Frank Matthews was using on a daily basis.
[00:26:35.47] The police really starting to get a sense
of what was going on, the scope of Franks operation.
[00:26:41.39] When they raided an apartment that probably
belonged to his lieutenant, Mickey Beckwith in Brooklyn.
[00:26:46.26] They nicknamed it the Ponderosa. The Ponderosa
is where they would process the heroin. [00:26:54.07]
And he would–this is a classic–he would have them at the table with no clothes on.
[00:27:06.07] The drug cutters would work at the Ponderosa
which has one on East 56th Street at the time. [00:27:12.93]
We called it Ponderosa. We were bagging up, cutting dope.
[00:27:17.08] It took us an hour to get through the doors.
[00:27:22.78] We finally had to break a wall down, that’s
when we realized and the bosses realized that he was not just a street dealer.
[00:27:30.46] He was an international trafficker.
[00:27:32.30] They cut so much dope in the Ponderosa that
when the police raided it, they found a half kilo of residue just left on the floor.
[00:27:33.45] They’re mixing the drugs with paddles from
canoes. [00:27:39.89]
They’re mixing the drugs with paddles from canoes.
[00:27:45.12] It was two million glassine envelopes.
[00:27:48.84] Ten dollars worth of heroin in each one, that’s
20 million dollars they were gonna pack up and at one location.
[00:27:57.21] The drug cutters would work for 24 to 36 hours
straight. [00:27:57.46]
One DEA … I saw talked about the time when one of Frank’s cutters died in Ponderosa cause
he had inhaled too much heroin and the confidential informant told him that when the police came,
Frank came outside and told him he was gonna handle it in the leave.
[00:28:13.85] And they did. One of the DEA case agents told
me at the time, trying to make a case on Frank Matthews was like trying to arrest God.
[00:28:25.51] So Frank is supplying the biggest drug dealers
in most of the cities up and down on the east coast.
[00:28:30.99] Philadelphia was probably his biggest stronghold.
[00:28:34.30] He worked with people like Major Coxson, Cadillac
Tommy, Ferrington who came up with him from Durham, North Carolina, John “Pop” Darby who
became his right-hand man, and Tyrone “Mr. Millionaire” Palmer.
[00:28:47.44] But there were a lot of people living in the
Frank’s organization that were killed and executed in Philadelphia.
[00:28:52.53] At the time, Philly’s drug underworld was
under siege by a group calling themselves the Black Mafia.
[00:29:03.09] Philadelphia … they cut a drug dealer’s
head off and put his hand on the outside window rail of the bar where the drug dealers hung
out. [00:29:10.09]
The Black Mafia were Nation of Islam members that operated out of Temple No. 12 in Philadelphia
and they were extorting drug dealers, they are selling drugs themselves, and they were
involved in a lot, a lot of murders. [00:29:22.62]
The Black Mafia resented the fact that Frank was trying to set up franchises which what
they were, he was trying to franchise his operation.
[00:29:30.03] Did he pull the trigger? No. But did violence
bother him? Not at all. [00:29:34.69]
And he had underlings like Beckwith and “Pop” Darby and a lot of other people who could’ve
easily whacked anybody they wanted to, and they’re dead of course, we know that.
[00:29:44.11] But Matthews himself was kind of a star in
his own right. [00:29:50.03]
And we couldn’t really associate him with pulling the trigger or shoving a knife at
somebody. [00:29:55.87]
Well I used to see a lot within Atlantic City. At the Club Harlem.
[00:30:02.01] Somehow, Tyrone “Mr. Millionaire” Palmer got
in a mess with the Black Mafia in a deal for a quarter million dollars of cocaine or either
he pay them to do … somebody or they felt like he owed them some money cause the deal’s
getting messed up. [00:30:17.70]
So on an Easter Sunday morning of 1972 the Philly Black Mafia finds Tyrone Palmer inside
the Club Harlem in Atlantic City, which is some place Frank like to hang out at, but
he didn’t happen to be there that night. [00:30:29.99]
But Tyrone Palmer was. Philly Black Mafia pulls out their guns, huge shoot out in front
of hundreds of witnesses to kill Tyrone Palmer and his bodyguard and free women that were
with him. [00:30:40.53]
The witnesses are all terrified, no one ever comes forward, so no one ever arrested and
convicted for the crime. [00:30:46.70]
The death was on Easter Sunday morning. We were getting ready to leave out of there when
he got killed. [00:30:54.12]
We had just left from that area when Fat Ty, they called him–I think they killed him out
of jealousy. [00:31:00.62]
That Black Mafia was leaning on everybody at that time.
[00:31:04.64] You know, if you didn’t give them some money,
you couldn’t operate in Philly. [00:31:08.37]
Ain’t too much change about that right now as we speak.
[00:31:14.06] The violence got so bad that Matthews had
Pop Darby come up to New York to live so he’d be out of the way of harm down in Philly to
continue to run his operation from New York. [00:31:25.87]
It got interesting when more murders came in, more murders that Frank had committed
or had something to do with. [00:31:32.94]
“Turk” Scott was a senator from Baltimore and Frank had him killed.
[00:31:39.76] Frank didn’t trust him. I don’t think he was
a homeboy, to tell you the truth. [00:31:44.25]
Some law enforcements feel like Matthews had something to do with “Turk” Scott’s death,
but it doesn’t appear so. [00:31:51.38]
There’s actually a guy named Sherman Dobson who was the son of a prominent Minister in
Baltimore, who was implicated in the killing and he said he did it on behalf of Black October
which is a black Muslim group that supposedly wanted to raid the streets of drug dealers
who were harming the community. [00:32:09.28]
Now, in an interesting aside, Sherman Dobson’s cousin was Tammera Dobson who was the star
of the black exploitation movie, Cleopatra Jones.
[00:32:20.60] Baltimore was another one of Frank’s strongholds.
[00:32:24.41] And it really gives you a good idea of how
big he was when you talk to two of his chief contacts down there, Big Head Brother and
Liddy Jones. And it really gives you a good idea of how big he was when you talk to two
of his chief contacts down there, Big Head Brother and Liddy Jones.
[00:32:34.26] Those guys are legends in Baltimore.
[00:32:35.32] But to them, Frank Matthews is a legend.
[00:32:38.11] We knew that he had a couple of contacts in
Baltimore and they’re Brother Carter and Liddy Jones.
[00:32:45.90] I met Frank Matthews through a guy named Reggie
Mason. He brought him by my house… I got my deals with 19.000 a kilo. He had a better
price than anyone for me. [00:32:59.98]
Big Head Brother’s so well known in Baltimore. I mean, he’s been name-checked on The Wire.
[00:33:08.61] Baltimore alone- it was millions, I was getting
big money. I supplied all of Baltimore. [00:33:17.52]
He would give me a lot of drugs. But he wasn’t giving me enough.
[00:33:23.37] I had a girlfriend named Brenda, Brenda. She
said “I know somebody in Brooklyn, who can give you all the drugs you want.”
[00:33:33.86] I said “Who do you know in Brooklyn?”
[00:33:36.80] She said “MIckey. Mickey Beckwith.”
[00:33:39.52] He told us “I’mma give you 5 k’s, and just
give me 22.000 for a k.” [00:33:47.27]
I used to cut it and sell a k, and hold a k. So I was making real good money.
[00:33:55.90] He was like a Shakespearean character, he
had so many, so many elements to his personality. [00:34:01.44]
Everybody that talks about him had something different to say.
[00:34:05.40] A friend of mine, he came to see a gentleman
whom I was working for at the time. [00:34:11.60]
He gave him fourty thousand dollars and he was suppose to meet us at a certain time to
pick up his product. [00:34:21.39]
Now he’s just throwin us a bone. You know, looking out for us. You know “You’re hustling.
Here, take this money.” [00:34:30.66]
He forgot all about it. Gave us fourty thousand dollars, didn’t come to the meet.
[00:34:38.99] Maybe four months later, my man told him “come
get that money.” later on, and Frank told him: “keep it.”
[00:34:44.63] As his fortune grew he became more extravagant,
in his taste and in his personality, and in the way he treated people
[00:34:52.75] I owed him about sixty thousand dollars at
one time. [00:34:59.25]
I got it in my car, I keep trying to get it to him.
[00:35:02.58] So when I did get him, he said “Man what’d
you keep calling me for?” [00:35:06.66]
I said “Man you know what’s up.” [00:35:07.99]
He said “No, if you’re broke, keep it, motherfucker. If you’re broke, keep it. I don’t wanna hear
that.” [00:35:15.54]
This business brings out the best of some people, and it brings out the worst of some
people. [00:35:22.57]
A Rolls-Royce pulled up from Jamaica, a neighborhood in Queens
[00:35:26.64] And Frank went around to the back of his car
took out a kilo. A kilo, an unmapped marked kilo with his fingerprints on them and threw
it over to the guy in the car, the guy put it in the trunk of the car, Frank closed his
trunk. [00:35:43.27]
That’s how ballsy he was. [00:35:46.28]
By the late 60s, ’69-’70 everybody knew who he was and what he was about.
[00:35:52.27] How can just one guy know so many people?
He was everywhere! [00:35:55.86]
He was in Las Vegas, he went to Atlantic City, he was in Harlem, you know, he was in Brooklyn,
and people, everywhere, took to him. [00:36:05.19]
They liked him. [00:36:06.83]
And I didn’t know how to get in touch with him at all but he always knew where to find
me or find whatever. [00:36:11.86]
And in those days, Frank would come to Durham often.
[00:36:14.25] Frank would come back, driving big automobiles.
[00:36:17.31] Cadillacs, Rolls-Royces, most days I find
he always dress nice. [00:36:22.92]
Even though what he was doing was wrong but, you know, he made it possible for a lot of
people to have a lot of things. [00:36:30.35]
And if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have finished my last year of law school.
[00:36:37.39] Because he came to Durham and I would stood
there and I was in a problem. And he helped tremendously.
[00:36:40.22] Financially, he helped me. FInancially and
morally. [00:36:44.73]
He talked to me and told me what I was here to be and what he felt that I should do.
[00:36:48.71] He trusted his own kind. The people that came
out of Durham. [00:36:53.56]
A gentleman came on to the police department, no one recall his name, but he ended up marrying
Frank’s–well he called it Frank’s sister. But it was actually his aunt. Cause Frank
was raised by his grandmother. [00:37:05.00]
This officer, I was his sergeant, everytime we work the midnight shift he always wanted
to take off on Saturday or Friday night and go to New York.
[00:37:15.59] I asked “What are you doing in New York?”
[00:37:18.74] He said “My wife’s nephew owns a bunch of
apartments down in New York and we gonna go and count his rent money.”
[00:37:23.72] Well, but then talk was that in Durham that
Frank was probably a drug-dealer in New York City.
[00:37:31.69] I had suspicion that the police officer that
worked with me he would’ve had to know something. [00:37:40.86]
Here we come to yet another unbeliveable chapter in the saga of Frank Matthews.
[00:37:45.39] In ’71 he decided to build himself a house.
[00:37:49.73] So he goes to this neighborhood called Todt
Hill in Staten Island [00:37:52.32]
Mrs. Matthews told me that within a few months they’d be moving to Staten Island, and they
are building a house on Todt Hill and she want to know if I’d be interested in coming
out there. And I said I would be. [00:38:03.11]
He lived in Todt Hill, Staten Island. Which, even to this day, is a very high-profile neighborhood.
[00:38:09.58] Frank was the only black guy living in that
neighborhood. [00:38:13.46]
Beautiful house, circular driveway. [00:38:16.80]
I don’t know houses, I don’t know if it’s colonial or whatever, but it’s just a magnificent,
beautiful house from the outside in Todt Hill. [00:38:22.77]
I saw something in the bathroom that I never saw before, which was hand-painted sinks.
[00:38:25.80] The sinks were hand-painted, there were paintings
in the sink [00:38:30.83]
Which is something that I came home and told my wife I never saw something like that before.
[00:38:33.42] And it was just absolutely beautiful and tasteful.
Very tasteful. [00:38:36.45]
I’m Joan Diamond. And my husband, Keith Diamond worked for Frank Matthews.
[00:38:43.85] In 1972 I gave birth to twin–fraternal twin
sons. [00:38:49.48]
She was just saying how great it is, and you know, that she has young children too, and
being very nice to me and congratulating me “that’s wonderful that you had twins”.
[00:39:01.66] About a week later after she called me I got
this package came to my door. [00:39:07.36]
And I opened it up and it was from her and Frank Matthews and it was two covers for the
cribs like quilts and pillow shams for pillows. [00:39:22.50]
And they were magnificent. They were beautiful. [00:39:26.28]
They were something that you would buy, like in a very expensive department store.
[00:39:30.81] And I was a little bit taken aback that it
was just–this was like really like an expensive gift from just someone who is basically a
stranger to me. [00:39:39.34]
And I had just bought a new car. Bought a new Chevrolet Malibu in 1972.
[00:39:44.06] And I pulled up in the car, and I was walking
up the driveway and he said to me, “oh you bought a new car? looks like a new car!”
[00:39:50.03] and I said “yes,”
[00:39:51.60] and he said to me, “you could probably get
three thousand dollars for that car.” [00:39:55.35]
I bought the car for 4200. It was a brand new car. I said, “Yes, I guess I could get
three thousand–” [00:40:00.53]
he said “Bring me the 3000 dollars, and you can pick any car you want in the driveway.
You can pick one of my cars.” [00:40:07.10]
So, in that sense he was very nice to me. [00:40:10.71]
It was something that I didn’t wanna get involved with but, in that extent he was very nice
to me. [00:40:15.36]
So guess who two of his neighbors were in Todt Hill.
[00:40:19.17] When I say neighbors I don’t mean around the
corner, I mean next door and across the street. [00:40:24.74]
Tommy “Three Fingers” Lucchesse, the founder of the Luchesse crime family, and Big Paul
Castellano who was the underboss of the Gambinos, later went on to become the boss and was killed
by John Gotti when Gotti took over the Gambinos. [00:40:37.22]
And why would Frank want to live in a neighborhood that had two of the biggest mobsters–Italian
mobsters at that time on the scene. [00:40:46.78]
So he had two very angry Italian mafia chieftans looking at his lavish outdoor parties, noisy
parties every night. [00:40:58.04]
And these La Costa Nostra guys were bosses, and they kept very, very low profiles.
[00:41:05.69] And heres Matthews showing up in his usual
Rolls-Royce and all kinds of things going on.
[00:41:13.29] The Italians were racists, you know, and didn’t
like blacks. [00:41:17.51]
Especially so-called uppity black like Frank Matthews asserting themselves, let alone living
in their midst. [00:41:25.16]
Frank at this time was telling people that Carlo Gambino, the head of the Gambino family,
the head of the mafia commision, had told Paul Castelano to give the DEA information
about the license plates of all the cars that were coming to Frank’s house.
[00:41:42.14] And somebody was giving anonymous information.
[00:41:45.49] In fact, the intelligence was pouring in surreptitiously
from somebody on that street, giving the DEA guys license plate datas of every license
plate that showed up in the Matthews’ house. [00:41:58.23]
And Frank said, he put the police on the boss of the boss. That’s what Frank said.
[00:42:04.81] We did not know who really turned that in,
I think maybe the agents know but I certainly didn’t.
[00:42:10.63] He knew after they bought the house it wasn’t
a place he should be, he was the only black fella living on that street.
[00:42:17.26] Some of the boys from the mob visited him
and suggested that he was out of his water. [00:42:24.46]
And they also suggest he shouldn’t have a million dollar house in Todt hill on Staten
Island. [00:42:31.19]
The mob, The Gambino family were involved in drugs for a long period of time.
[00:42:36.92] DEA spent a lot of time picking off various
members of the Gambino. [00:42:41.10]
It was already rumblings, the mob was mad at him because he was going around the Italians
to get his heroin from the French Connection. [00:42:49.59]
So he’s selling drugs to all the big black dealers, that’s cutting into the mafia’s profits.
[00:42:53.84] And now he move down the same block with them.
They didn’t like it. [00:42:59.27]
Castelano and certainly “Three Fingers” Brown would have wanted him killed.
[00:43:04.87] The feds overheard on wired taps that mafia
members talking about having Frank killed because of his entry to the heroin business
and living on Todt Hill. [00:43:16.24]
Where he warned the Italians, he said “Touch one of my men, and I’ll drive down Mulberry
Street and kill every wop I see.” [00:43:24.99]
See, you can see that they respected what — before this time, he would’ve been gone.
[00:43:32.03] It just showed the personality of Frank. Frank
really didn’t give a shit. [00:43:37.35]
I mean, he was fearless. [00:43:39.10]
And he wasn’t gonna let a bunch of–at the time the black gangster community use the
word ‘dagels’ to refer to Italians–he wouldn’t let any dagoss or guineas tell him what to
do. [00:43:53.00]
Picture the mob, they got all these men, you know, soldiers behind, but they couldn’t even
touch him. [00:44:00.00]
Frank got money. Frank had more money than the mob.
[00:44:03.83] So you know, they were jealous. You know,
black dude living next door. [00:44:10.16]
You know, I think the mob is overrated. [00:44:13.19]
And I knew some heavyweights in the mob. [00:44:16.72]
Did time with them, saw them on the streets, did business with them.
[00:44:20.96] I know of the deals that were put together,
they couldn’t come up with the money they were supposed to come up with to handle this.
[00:44:30.19] They control the docks and stuff like and
they had unions and they were always pinching pennies–that’s what I called it.
[00:44:36.93] But then there came a time when they weren’t
needed. [00:44:39.47]
It was a serious issue that could’ve really created a lot of problems for somebody because
it would end in violence. [00:44:49.78]
I’m pretty sure of that if Frank would’ve stayed in Todt Hill.
[00:44:55.02] In the early 70s Las Vegas was a playground
for America and especially America’s gangsters of all kinds.
[00:45:02.78] Frank Matthews seems to have been one of the
biggest celebrities in Vegas in the early 70s.
[00:45:09.38] Everywhere he went, people knew him.
[00:45:12.21] Frank was great.
[00:45:15.71] He even took care of the guy who handed you
towels in the men’s room. Gave him a hundred-dollar bill for doing nothing but hand him a towel.
[00:45:23.34] “Frank! Hey, Frank! Hey, Frank!” All of the
people got to call him. [00:45:28.16]
They were talking to Frank Matthews. [00:45:31.71]
I said, “Goddamn!” When we were walking out there I thought they were talking about Frank
Sinatra. [00:45:34.91]
“Hey Frank! Hey Frank!” [00:45:38.99]
Maybe he attended the fight, maybe. [00:45:43.64]
But he was more interested in the hookers and the parties that they threw in the rooms.
[00:45:49.77] I got locked up in Vegas.
[00:45:58.30] So I was in the ring. Mohammad Ali and Jerry
Quarry was fighting. [00:46:09.43]
George Foreman got in the ring, and was talking shit to Muhammed Ali, soI said, “Punk, you
can’t even beat me. What the fuck you gonna do?!”
[00:46:15.47] So they locked me up.
[00:46:18.01] So when they would take me out the door, Frank
pulled out the lieutenant. And then the police said, “Let him go.”.
[00:46:25.71] So Frank got me out of there, just like that.
[00:46:28.87] He took duffel bags of cash to one casino.
Dropped them on the cashier’s tables where they laundered the money for him
[00:46:36.73] And they took fifteen to eighteen percent
for the house. [00:46:43.23]
Frank, now, used to take money, then clean it through Vegas.
[00:46:47.63] They had about ten big suitcases, they had
about ten of ’em filled with money. [00:46:53.76]
They put all these suitcases in his room. Then they go to the fight.
[00:46:59.61] You know, went to the fight and left the money
there. [00:47:02.60]
One night at the Thunderbird Hotel, Frank ran into Eddie Jackson and Courtney Brown,
two of the biggest dealers in Detroit. [00:47:10.41]
And they struck up a conversation. [00:47:13.98]
This black guy stand at the table, got a pocketful–a handfull of money, gambling.
[00:47:16.20] This black guy stand at the table, got a pocketful–a
handfull of money, gambling. [00:47:18.68]
Eddie sees him over there, he don’t know who he is.
[00:47:21.07] He said, “What is he betting on?” He’s out
betting against him. [00:47:23.77]
And then finally got to say, “Hey, homie. Where you from? I’m from Detroit.”
[00:47:29.56] And he said, “I’m from New York. My name is
Frank.” [00:47:32.95]
Frank Matthews?” [00:47:36.50]
“I know, we got some mutual friends that know you.”
[00:47:42.43] But like all drug traffickers, eventually
the party’s over. [00:47:46.03]
No matter how far behind law enforcement is, they eventually catch up with the bad guys.
[00:47:52.21] Matthews was in Las Vegas during the first
few days of January 1973 and at this time, an indictment came out of New York, against
him. [00:48:03.67]
The next morning, las vegas headlines [00:48:06.89]
New York Kingpin, Frank Matthews, was arrested with twenty five thousand dollars, girlfriends,
so forth. [00:48:10.54]
He was arrested in Las Vegas by local DEA agents.
[00:48:12.47] He was arrested in Las Vegas by local DEA
agents. [00:48:16.22]
The judge leveled a bond of five million dollars. [00:48:21.63]
Which was unheard of at the time, it was the biggest bond in history.
[00:48:25.33] The five million dollar bail was the highest
at the time, established for a person in the United States.
[00:48:33.55] Which, if you were to level that bond today,
it’d be thirty million dollars! [00:48:37.31]
Matthews, when he arrested, asked “How am I gonna pay that?” and the IRS agents said
“Preferably in cash, Mr. Matthews.” [00:48:44.42]
And it was all over the news, about a major drug-dealer who was captured in Las Vegas
and then I started getting phone calls from people.
[00:48:51.78] I got phone calls from my parents in Florida,
I got phone calls from friends who knew–“Did you hear? Did you hear? Turn on the radio!”
and it was him. [00:48:59.27]
And my first reaction was I was disappointed because I wanted the job.
[00:49:06.61] We get down to Clark county jail, there was
Frank Matthews. [00:49:10.66]
“Goddamn, homie! They got you all too?” [00:49:14.57]
And I said, yeah “you didn’t tell me you was hot.”
[00:49:17.77] Miller and I flew out immediately to question
him, and we interviewed him, but he’s toying with us, completely.
[00:49:26.66] So we joked and we said “Man, fuck these motherfuckers
I ain’t care what they talking about.” [00:49:33.27]
He said “I’m gonna post,bond half a million dollars, and I’m gone.”
[00:49:37.15] He did indicate that he didn’t want to talk
to white prosecutors or white agents. [00:49:42.83]
And we spoke to Marshal Butler, then the US Marshal for Brooklyn. A black marshal.
[00:49:50.04] He flew out to meet us.
[00:49:54.17] Marshal Butler went in and spoke to him alone.
And Frank opened up to him. [00:49:59.20]
That he was tired of paying huge amounts of money to the La Costa Nostra, and a group
of Jewish businessmen in Brooklyn. Who were distributing heroin.
[00:50:09.11] We were never able to crack who the Jewish
businessmen in Brooklyn were, but we had sufficient information that the Bronx mafia guys, the
Italians, were giving Matthews smaller and smaller units and overcharging him.
[00:50:26.19] He hated that. He wanted to branch out and
be his own distributor. [00:50:31.90]
And he hated the Italians because they hated the blacks.
[00:50:35.12] A weird aspect of the indictments was that
a bunch of people in Venezuela were indicted with Matthews, because one of the French Connection
couriers was actually caught. [00:50:45.29]
We had indicted Frank and our indictment included about 20 foreign defendants and including
some customs–Venezuelan customs agents, and Jules Cerini the courier who came from Marseilles
with 22 kilos of heroin. [00:51:03.26]
Cerini had been told that the bribes were paid and he’d have no trouble coming into
Caracas with his suitcases. [00:51:10.87]
He was in fact arrested with 22 kilos of one hundred percent pure heroin.
[00:51:17.58] Matthews paid cash for it, and he would’ve
bagged up 22 kilos every month had they got away with it.
[00:51:24.45] Miller and I were requested to report to the
criminal division immediately for a meeting with the CIA.
[00:51:31.58] And the General Counsel told us, “Under no
circumstances that your indictment be presented as its.
[00:51:38.13] We are wiping off the Venezuelan portion–the
International portion of your indictment. [00:51:46.62]
But there are international ramifications as the things we’re doing in Venezuela and
with the Russians that we can’t talk about. Need I say more?”
[00:51:56.08] and we said we understand, and they said “Have
a nice day.” [00:52:00.54]
So why did the CIA–what were they doing with the French Connection or in Venezuela?
[00:52:06.82] Maybe they had operations in Venezuela, they
were involved in the spying on Fidel Castro that they didn’t want to jeopardize, or maybe
they were protecting the French Connection because the French Connection was helping
them fight communism behind the scenes in Europe, because there was an alliance that
were set up at the end of WWII. [00:52:26.48]
When the allies left, they made deal with ex-fascists, and criminal elements, and the
people who founded the French Connection were Nazi collaborators during WWII.
[00:52:37.20] The money they stole from people while they
were working for the Nazis, was used to set up the first heroin labs outside of Marseilles
in the late 40s. [00:52:45.63]
If you raise a bond, like 5 million dollars, they’re gonna say “where did you get the money
from?”. [00:52:52.00]
But when they went to New York, 325.000 was raisable.
[00:52:57.54] This made the law enforcements officials that
were investigating him go crazy. [00:53:02.38]
350.000 was ludicrous for this type of dealer. [00:53:06.76]
Some of his friends in Durham managed to raise the money, which got him out of jail.
[00:53:12.96] Now, whether Frank planned to leave or not
at first is doubtful. He was going to court for six months.
[00:53:20.50] Big Head Brother from Baltimore was part of
the case. [00:53:25.19]
He had to show up weekly at the federal courthouse. [00:53:27.92]
He was going to court. He was going to court on the case with Big Head now.
[00:53:33.43] And Frank was showing up for court but one
day, at the courthouse he bumps into one of the federal prosecutors, I think, involved
in the case. [00:53:43.41]
and the prosecutor tells him that there’s another indictment that’s gonna come down
on Frank that carries life. [00:53:51.38]
In 1973, Frank made his last appearance in the eastern district of New York in front
of Judge Ray Dearie. [00:53:58.48]
One day as he arrived, the Chief of Criminal Division Ray Dearie, now a federal judge,
Matthews said to him as Dearie was going out for lunch, “Mr. Dearie, am I gonna get that
life count I keep hearing about?” [00:54:12.18]
and he said, “You may, Frank. It’s very possible.” [00:54:16.11]
His plot came in when they told him he would not get out on bail. They gonna keep you,
you gonna face a life sentence, an 848. [00:54:26.74]
The comment by Dearie may or may not have had an effect.
[00:54:30.58] We were prepared to bring the life count in
the superseding indictment, we were getting ready to do that.
[00:54:37.05] The Marshals ain’t know that he knew about
the indictment. [00:54:40.94]
They were going to surprise him when they go to court.
[00:54:43.55] After the Dearie incident, he fled that night,
and the last person that sees him in Brooklyn was Detective Mike Bramble who spotted him
blasting through a red light in his car. [00:54:54.96]
Bramble gave chase and he lost him. [00:55:00.79]
You think of drug traffickers at the period. [00:55:04.01]
Three of the major ones, you got Ike Atkinson, you know, who eventually spend 32 years in
jail. [00:55:09.51]
He didn’t jump bond. [00:55:10.55]
It never cross my mind to take off. [00:55:15.61]
I always felt that one of my lawyers would get me out of this.
[00:55:19.71] And Nicky Barnes, in big serious trouble a
few years later in New York City, he didn’t jump bond.
[00:55:28.03] And of course Frank Lucas, who went to trial,
and he didn’t jump bond before his conviction. [00:55:34.09]
So it’s very unusual. [00:55:36.32]
So when the government let it slip to Matthews that he had a new indictment, and Matthews
looked around and saw a lot of his lieutenants being indicted or killed like Turk Scott,
like his friend from Durham, Cadillac Tommy Ferrin who got killed in Philadelphia, Tyrone
Palmer got killed in Philadelphia, Major Cockson got killed by the black mafia in Philadelphia.
[00:56:00.34] When the federal prosecutor or the judge or
whoever told him that he had that life indictment coming, Frank was smart enough to take advantage
of that blunder, and he dropped everything and he left.
[00:56:13.58] He didn’t want the homes to be taken from
his aunt in Durham. [00:56:21.39]
A mysterious delivery of a briefcase with all the cash necessary to meet the bond requirements
was delivered to the insurance agency in Great Neck, New York, and they took it gladly.
[00:56:34.38] We ran a major investigation on that very
issue. [00:56:39.26]
But the last time that they saw him in New York, he came through there with bags of money,
they say. [00:56:46.51]
And just trying to–he wasn’t even trying to win, he just wanted to leave some money
and leave his mark. [00:56:56.55]
Our office was alerted that he had jumped bond.
[00:57:00.52] A warrant issued for his arrest.
[00:57:02.83] I did learn from my investigation, that Frank
Matthews had a safety deposit box at the First Union National Bank, on Main Street in Durham,
North Carolina. [00:57:13.08]
And I went to that First Union Bank, where I knew he had a safety deposit box, I walked
through the front door of the bank, and asked them if they had seen Frank Matthews and they
said he just went out the back door. [00:57:25.84]
So I ran out the back door of the bank, and I did see a car leaving the parking lot.
[00:57:32.62] And he was there, obviously, cleaning out
his safety deposit box to make a run. [00:57:36.59]
I was almost famous, I missed my opportunity. By one minute.
[00:57:42.77] A massive man hunt of course was put out all
around the country, all around the world. [00:57:46.89]
They had leads pouring in. [00:57:50.51]
Frank’s in Africa, he’s in Athens, he’s in Rome, he’s in South America, he’s here, he’s
there, he’s in Pittsburgh, he’s in Philadelphia, he’s in Detroit.
[00:57:59.18] When they did the story in the Staten Island
Advance, they said that they had agents–I don’t know if whether those were FBI, or DEA
at the time–in the bushes of his house. [00:58:06.41]
That’s what The Advance had written. Filming his house. And he used to say to everybody,
well they have films of me coming through his door everyday … and leaving his house
everyday…. [00:58:16.21]
So I sort of … myself in the beginning that maybe somebody would call me. But no one ever
called me. [00:58:22.38]
They conducted raids, they question people, they questioned Barbara Hinton, they questioned
all the people involved in the case, no good leads.
[00:58:32.04] They never felt like they really got close
to him. [00:58:37.50]
There was information at the time of course that he had moved probably 15 to 20 million
dollars off shore. [00:58:41.58]
He could’ve flown easily to the Cayman Islands, or the Bahamas, that’s the closest jurisdictions
at that time. [00:58:46.47]
Of course in those days, the money laundering laws were a lot loose, it was much more difficult
to investigate criminals. [00:58:52.37]
If you use the 6:1 ratio for the inflation, the amount of money that allegedly Frank Matthews
took out of the country, which is 15 million dollars, would be equivalent to have taken
out 90 million dollars today. [00:59:04.63]
The intelligence picked up that he and Cheryl Brown fled immediately, probably that same
night when Prambal saw him. [00:59:11.61]
They flew to Texas, I think it was Houston. [00:59:14.27]
And that was the last sighting of him at least in this country.
[00:59:19.73] I’m told much later he was spotted in the
Bahamas, he has been spotted, supposedly in parts of Africa.
[00:59:29.35] Cheryl Brown was Frank’s latest girlfriend,
she was probably 18, some people said 22, and supposedly, he left with her.
[00:59:38.63] The Cheryl Brown issue was pretty strange.
[00:59:42.57] Frank met Cheryl Brown around 1972 and ’73
over in 96 Street and 1st Avenue. [00:59:49.44]
And it was a smart place to go to. A lot of drug dealers went there.
[00:59:57.98] And she was in there. And she was young, she
was 18. [01:00:03.02]
He pulled up outside with his white Rolls Royce, and she fell in love with the car and
supposedly fell in love with Frank, and from then on in it was Frank and Cheryl.
[01:00:16.09] She was beautiful, she was. She was well built,
had a set of beautiful body. [01:00:22.22]
Oh she was gorgeous. Beautiful and attractive, she had a Halle Berry-ness about her.
[01:00:27.90] Spent a lot of time researching and looking
at Cheryl Brown, looking at some records in the hopes that that would lead us to Frank.
[01:00:36.81] Dave O’Flaherty interviewed family members
and parents, came away feeling that they were telling the truth, they didn’t have any idea
where she was, and they were pretty devastated about the fact they lost contact with their
daughter. [01:00:49.47]
She is as mysterious as Frank. [01:00:51.88]
There’s never been any sighting, any evidence that she’s alive or dead.
[01:00:56.77] We know that she was very close to her parents,
her parents were devastated. [01:00:59.45]
They were middle-class teachers in Brooklyn. [01:01:04.69]
They got no sense that they knew anything about their daughter’s disappearance.
[01:01:11.87] I think they even had wire taps on the Brown’s
home and there was nothing. [01:01:15.54]
And she was very close, she was very close to her parents from all accounts.
[01:01:20.24] I think he might not still be around is the
girl, the girl was just 23 years old. [01:01:27.33]
And you also know that they put on a tap on that–her mother’s phone for 5 years, and
they never heard of nothing from her. [01:01:38.09]
That’s the part that makes me think that something happened to her.
[01:01:43.72] You know what I mean, you know she would have
probably gotten restless and homesick, lonely, and wanted to get back to her family.
[01:01:51.44] And they never heard from her either.
[01:01:54.79] I don’t know what Frank had in the back of
his mind with any woman, but I do know that she was with him, that’s all I can say.
[01:02:02.94] She did leave with him.
[01:02:05.70] She went to Texas, we were told by an informant
that she went to Texas with him and took a plane from Texas out of there.
[01:02:11.50] Whether they had phony passports–and he could
buy anything. [01:02:16.10]
He had the money to buy anything including a passport for her and him.
[01:02:24.25] So he did take her out.
[01:02:25.73] I’m not a hundred percent confident that she
left with Frank. [01:02:29.96]
Never had anybody who could corroborate the fact that she was with Frank.
[01:02:34.79] A lot of the chief lieutenants within the
organization that were suspected of being tied to Frank’s organization, people like
Mickey Beckwith, Brother Carter, Liddy Jones. [01:02:47.14]
They brought his name up in my case. I got thirty years on that case.
[01:02:51.26] Liddy Jones and Big Head Brother from Baltimore
got long terms–twenty, thirty years in prison. [01:02:58.50]
Pop Darby in Philly didn’t get out till ’84. [01:03:03.43]
All these lieutenants, 18 in all, were indicted in 1975 after Frank had fled
[01:03:10.51] They were convicted, except for Marcella Steel,
she was found innocent. His aunt. [01:03:15.31]
They tried me. I got busted also. [01:03:17.67]
I received 18 and a half years. [01:03:21.42]
That’s what I did, 18 and a half years. Day for day.
[01:03:23.31] His wife, Barbara Hinton, who by all accounts
played an active role in the organization, you know, I read an intelligence report that
she was suspected of handling the money. [01:03:33.68]
Barbara knew the trade. She was the money counter.
[01:03:38.38] She was keeping the books.
[01:03:43.54] Spoke to Barbara and all the other people
in the case. [01:03:48.47]
We never had a real substantial lead out of it.
[01:03:53.15] I’m not–I can’t say whether she was helpful
or not but we never got anything out of it. [01:03:56.77]
I know Barbara Hinton personally. [01:03:58.77]
Wonderful, she was from Florida. [01:04:00.68]
They gave her decent piece of money, gave her a million dollars.
[01:04:03.45] Barbara Hinton was convicted but she got off
on a technicality. [01:04:07.78]
They used a statement against her from the grand jury, and she swore … the prosecution.
[01:04:12.30] They used a statement against her from the
grand jury, and she was supposed to get immunity from prosecution.
[01:04:13.99] I know they tried to pump these guys for information.
[01:04:17.45] When I was doing my case, they pulled me the
fuck to New York. the New York DA pulled me to New York in ’78.
[01:04:27.34] They were still loyal to Frank and they didn’t
tell anything. [01:04:30.39]
They called and tried to get me to tell if I knew anything about Frank.
[01:04:35.85] And I told them “If I did know, I wouldn’t
tell you.” You didn’t offer me any all this time, why you didn’t offer me something now?
[01:04:43.03] And I did my time, just leave me alone.
[01:04:47.27] Of course, his property was seized by the
government. [01:04:49.28]
That beautiful mansion, with gold plated faucets, marble floors, was sold.
[01:04:55.77] And the furnishings inside the house were
sold for 5000. [01:05:01.03]
There were no informants. You say why? [01:05:04.61]
Well, one of the reasons I think was that you don’t have the draconian senses like you
have today, which forces prisoners to make deals to stay out of prison for the rest of
their life. [01:05:13.07]
You know, his lieutenants were getting something like 5 to 12 years in prison, and you know,
they can do the time. [01:05:18.48]
And plus, Frank’s personality, and reputation for violence.
[01:05:22.93] He was liked, but he was also feared.
[01:05:25.95] From what I gathered from those who knew him
closely, to me, there was some fear in there too.
[01:05:32.13] Cause you never knew what you say may come
back to haunt you. [01:05:36.84]
He was reported everywhere. He was reported in Asia, in Africa, in Europe.
[01:05:41.98] managed to remain free not because the cops
weren’t trying. [01:05:46.21]
I mean, they did everything. They had, you know, posters, they had public service announcements,
and eventually they set up a special task force in a couple of years that worked around
the clock trying to find him. [01:05:56.17]
I’m Mike Pizzi, former United States Marshal. [01:05:59.16]
I was the Chief Deputy for the Eastern District for many years, and I was in charge of the
Frank Matthews investigation, and we went out and did what we typically do when looking
for fugitives. [01:06:13.89]
You go to all the old…, talk to all the old friends, relatives and people and babysitters.
[01:06:21.39] And we followed every lead we developed and
unfortunately we never had a solid lead on Frank Matthews.
[01:06:30.19] Frank Matthews disappeared almost 40 years
ago. [01:06:33.04]
And it’s been an active case ever since. [01:06:36.88]
He’s literally fallen off the face of the earth.
[01:06:37.79] The case is still open, it’s active. If we
got leads we would follow up on them. [01:06:41.37]
We have had leads over the past few years but nothing’s panned out.
[01:06:46.44] We went out into the areas that we knew and
probably knew as well as anybody, in particular in the Bedfort-Stuyverson area where Marshal
Butler had lots of folks who we spoke to. [01:06:58.17]
Well, there weren’t a lot of people in his old … in North Carolina who were very cooperative.
[01:07:06.36] Sad to say, he was a bit of a legend.
[01:07:10.96] Seems like a lot of people looked up to Frank
for probably all the wrong reasons. [01:07:17.48]
We did not have a lot of success talking to the folks in the North Carolina area.
[01:07:22.30] It seems that people are afraid to talk about
him. [01:07:24.49]
In fact, that’s what one of the guys said [01:07:35.22]
And I’ve gone into Durham, and I’ve talked to some people.
[01:07:39.31] And they indirectly say “Oh, you shouldn’t
be doing this because Frank might get word of it he may get upset.”
[01:07:45.24] So there’s still that element.
[01:07:48.05] You know Frank has become like Keyser Söze,
right? In the Unusual Suspects. [01:07:52.75]
He’s everyhwere and nowhere. I mean, it’s really amazing.
[01:08:08.09] The guys from the South all knew about Frank
and everything like that. [01:08:11.38]
They say “No, man. This guy ain’t dead. This guy was connected. And he got money, and they
don’t wanna catch him.” [01:08:22.86]
Why haven’t the authorities caught him? I mean, they’ve caught most of the gangsters,
that had fled. [01:08:27.94]
Whitey Bulger was caught after sixteen years. [01:08:32.06]
And here he is, in the open, living in Santa Monica, California, and everybody believed
he was somewhere else. [01:08:38.58]
Matthews is now a lot longer. [01:08:42.68]
But his facial features will have changed with age and her facial features.
[01:08:47.02] And Bulger was out in public, got into a Las
Vegas casino, we know he was in Spain. [01:08:51.86]
Bulger was a thug and was not a brilliant businessman.
[01:08:55.95] Matthews was a pioneering giant in the field
of distribution of heroin. [01:09:02.68]
Fugitives get caught for a variety of reasons. [01:09:06.82]
They anger somebody so that people are motivated to turn him in, it could be money, it could
be somebody that has an impending case and realize that this is the information that
would make that case go away. 3 [01:09:18.92]
So there’s a variety of reasons why we, the law enforcements, got information.
[01:09:23.31] Money’s one of them. Sometimes we’ll get information
that has nothing to do with money. [01:09:27.29]
This code, this honour among thieves. A lot of these people hate each other.
[01:09:33.16] I can tell you that countless times we arrested
a guy, before we get him back to Manhattan–a 45 minutes ride–they can’t wait to set up
the leader of the organization. [01:09:40.34]
In the early 90s, Lew Rice of the DEA reinvigorated the investigation.
[01:09:44.97] He felt like he had info that Matthews was
in Philadelphia. [01:09:49.01]
Well, I don’t wanna go into the nature of the investigation, but we’ve had information
periodically, we were looking in different places in different cities in the US, especially
on the east coast. [01:09:59.02]
We thought we were getting close at one point. [01:10:00.76]
Thanksgiving, O’Flaherty and several of his folks, his deputies from New York, actually
conducted a surveillance over at …. in North Carolina.
[01:10:13.67] We wouldn’t get too specific where exactly
we were but I could tell you that he didn’t show up for Thanksgiving dinner.
[01:10:21.01] Supposedly Frank Matthews had been a big cocaine
abuser, some people say, but some people say they never saw him using.
[01:10:27.47] And the feds claim they had information that
he had developed a bad heart. [01:10:32.11]
His major cocaine abuse did major damage and he had heart palpitations, and it was more
than rumor that he had a heart transplant in Houston.
[01:10:43.05] We actually sent a small task force with Dave
O’Flaherty in charge. [01:10:49.39]
And we follow through on a series of leads, that seemed like they were real.
[01:10:54.20] They seemed reliable.
[01:10:57.06] And when we were ready to leave Texas we decided
that we had no verification of the information. [01:11:03.11]
Obviously I thought he was alive, cause we wouldn’t have put the focus, the spotlight
back on to Philadelphia and then several years later on New York.
[01:11:10.09] So obviously I think he’s alive.
[01:11:13.03] Obviously, that was reinforced when the agents
and the police sent someone out to talk to various people, then picked up evidence that
we were able to accumulate back then. [01:11:22.37]
But he is a very smart guy, and he’s gonna be difficult to catch.
[01:11:26.77] But difficult doesn’t mean impossible.
[01:11:30.04] You know, you talk with law enforcement officials,
they sound hopeful. [01:11:32.90]
He’s gonna make a mistake.” and all that. [01:11:34.48]
But it’s really whistling in the dark. [01:11:36.66]
Unless he showed up in a police station one day and said “Here I am! You’ve been looking
for me! Take me!” [01:11:44.62]
Ran into young Frank Matthews while he was in custody, I believe at that time he was
in custody for stealing a car. [01:11:52.79]
We find that to be incredibly odd, if hopefully someone’s father had run off with 15 million,
I would’ve thought he would’ve made some arrangements to take care of his family.
[01:12:04.26] But it didn’t appear to us to be the case.
[01:12:08.01] My recollection was that he was being pretty
honest with us. [01:12:12.22]
And that he really didn’t know where his father was.
[01:12:15.51] I just never saw a negative interaction between
him and the children. [01:12:19.48]
So I would assume that any father would try to connect with his children, especially his
sons, especially someone with his name, Frank, Jr.
[01:12:30.89] So yes, I think it’s kind of odd that he never
did, maybe he would have, I really don’t know. [01:12:34.15]
Once it ended, it ended for me. [01:12:37.72]
I was out of the picture. [01:12:40.03]
He also had a brother who was another one of Frank’s children, who was apparently having
a problem with some drug abuse issues. [01:12:47.48]
I thought that was a little strange. [01:12:51.39]
Why didn’t his father send him some help? [01:12:53.44]
Within the last two or three years, we got a tip that there was a look-alike.
[01:12:57.42] Very much would’ve been the same age, same
height, same physical features as Frank Matthews, who today would be about 67 years old in North
Carolina where Matthews is known to have families and friends.
[01:13:09.36] And we followed up on that lead and we found
that individual and it just wasn’t him. [01:13:14.42]
People thought that this could’ve been the guy
[01:13:17.46] We developed those leads but obviously it
wasn’t because we don’t have him in custody. [01:13:21.78]
What would happen to Frank Matthews if he came back and turn himself in?
[01:13:26.90] I mean, come on, this is almost 40 years later.
[01:13:28.95] A lot of witnesses are dead.
[01:13:32.56] I tried to use the records of the trial that
followed a lot of his subordinates and they’re missing.
[01:13:39.37] And we talked to law enforcements they don’t
want to admit it, but there’s a challenge if they bring Franks Matthews to trial.
[01:13:47.32] If he ever turn himself in or if they ever
captured him. [01:13:51.27]
The generation of people that were uniquely familiar with this investigation are retired,
no longer around. [01:13:58.13]
I came on DEA in 1974. [01:14:00.31]
Frank Matthews was already a fugitive. [01:14:04.50]
So I wasn’t involved in his investigation and arrest.
[01:14:08.23] The Matthews case, not having one viable,
responsible person tell us for certain that they’ve seen him and we’ve had no verification
of a sighting, that became a challenge that was insurmountable.
[01:14:27.55] I wanna think he’s alive.
[01:14:31.85] A lot of them officers that arrest people,
this and that, and everything like that probably helped get him out of the country.
[01:14:39.72] I wouldn’t be surprised, he’s probably down
at the costa del sol in Spain. [01:14:47.17]
Where he is today, God only knows. [01:14:50.89]
I’ll just tell this, his body never turned up, Cheryl Brown’s body never turned up, no
bones were ever located, it’s very, very unusual on cold cases-homicide cases where a body
never turns up. [01:15:03.12]
He’s covered his path very well. [01:15:05.89]
If he died of natural causes or in a car accident or something in that effect, his fingerprints
would’ve eventually got into a CARDIS database, it would’ve been matched up and then we could’ve
proven through autopsy or death certificate. [01:15:17.59]
There have been many informants, both LCN–La Costa Nostra types that supposedly killed
him or had him eliminated, because he was a threat to La Costa Nostra
[01:15:35.63] He was well-known as a drug dealer, and he
was out on a five-million-dollars bail [01:15:37.39]
If the guineas hit Frank, they would’ve known about it, cause they snitchin so much, they
told on John Gotti. …and that would have came out, and Frank wasn’t even dealing with
fucking guineas. [01:15:53.01]
automatically somebody say, o, you know he got a guinea connection, but Frank wasn’t
even dealing with the guineas [01:15:55.79]
As many informants as we had, not one of them came forward and told us that they had wiped
him out. [01:16:01.46]
There’s a theory he left the country but nobody can say where he went, so–if he had stayed
in the United States the entire time, it would’ve been much likely that he would’ve encountered
law enforcements in some capacity. [01:16:11.90]
We are still interested in him, he is still part of the Marshal Service history, we are
still actively looking for him but we’ve never been able to substantiate a sighting, we’ve
never been able to substantiate anything. [01:16:24.01]
I don’t have any idea, he vanished off planet of the earth.
[01:16:28.60] I think he’s alive.
[01:16:30.40] I think he’s alive, somewhere, he made a lot
of money, and he’s dial it down a lot, and leading a normal life.
[01:16:39.63] A life such as if he was in the witness protection
program, not very visible and not very public. [01:16:44.36]
He can be in South America, he can be in another part of the country, he could be in the south
somewhere, you know. [01:16:52.43]
I would think in the US. [01:16:55.48]
You can blend in easy. It’s a system he knows very well.
[01:16:59.46] The communities, they can go with money and
live a middle-class existence, and you can blend in if you obeyed the rules of the town
and the neighborhood…. [01:17:11.64]
Pop Darby say Frank is alive. [01:17:17.61]
he said, “Look, Frank is in Africa.” [01:17:20.06]
I said, “What?” [01:17:24.39]
Then he said, “You won’t know him.” [01:17:25.45]
I said, “What do you mean I won’t know him?” [01:17:27.14]
swoosh* “He’d done like that.” [01:17:30.35]
I said “Like that?” [01:17:32.28]
He said, “Yeah.” *swoosh* [01:17:34.32]
People speculate plastic surgery. [01:17:36.46]
He may be dead. [01:17:37.64]
But I didn’t get that information. [01:17:39.76]
That was my man, John Darby’s my man. [01:17:43.83]
And you know, me and him was doing time together. [01:17:48.18]
I’m thinking he’s alive. [01:17:49.88]
John Darby showed me *zoom* he got a plastic surgery.
[01:17:53.04] Boom he’s done good, he’s over at Africa somewhere.
[01:17:56.98] I think he’s alive.
[01:17:59.38] And I say this unequivocally because he’s
a smart person. [01:18:06.65]
And he’s got the homeboys protecting him and Marcella protecting him and Durham, North
Carolina protecting him. [01:18:14.16]
I think he’s alive. [01:18:16.32]
I think Frank was the biggest guy that ever existed in drugs and heroin.
[01:18:20.60] If he went into business and started his own
company, it would’ve been successful. [01:18:26.17]
Other than drugs, I know it. McDonald’s, he would own 20 McDonald’s and open up franchises
and even know how to operate them. [01:18:34.94]
But those of my generation, no, he’s not forgotten. [01:18:41.18]
They still a wonder. [01:18:42.84]
As you look around you see people …. who’s watching you, who you’re speaking to, you
never woulda know. [01:18:51.68]
You ain’t gonna find nobody like him no more. [01:18:56.12]
Not when they got the system now. [01:18:59.04]
Now there ain’t going to be nobody like that [01:19:02.79]
They got too many snitches and lying, conniving… [01:19:11.16]
He was a soldier. [01:19:14.47]
Yeah, Nicky Barnes, Frank Lucas, they couldn’t touch him.
[01:19:18.85] He could make it anywhere. And every time
somebody get in trouble, they would say I’mma do a Frank Matthews
[01:19:28.60] If Frank turned up today, I don’t know if
they’d really have a case against him. [01:19:31.92]
They can probably lock him up for a few years for jumping bail, but a drug conspiracy from
40 years ago, I mean, the police are all retired, half the people involved are dead, the people
that they would try to squeeze to get them to turn against Frank, they already have served
20 years in prison. [01:19:50.38]
The feds have no… cards to play. [01:19:56.75]
Do I think he’s dead or alive? [01:20:00.90]
If he’s alive, I mean, he pulled off the greatest getaway of all time.
[01:20:02.56] If he’s alive, I mean, he pulled off the greatest
getaway of all time. [01:20:05.62]
But even if he’s not alive, he got away from them for a little while.
[01:20:10.16] And he did beat the system
[01:20:12.39] Whether he’s alive or not, I doubt very seriously
we’ll ever know. [01:20:16.84]
All of the agents who worked on the case to this day believe he’s still alive.
[01:20:21.57] I don’t see how he can be alive.
[01:20:24.13] He’s alive. And that’s it.
[01:20:28.28] You always think about your friends as the
people that you care about. [01:20:30.70]
No matter what, no matter where, I think about him sometimes now and ask what he was doing.
[01:20:34.33] And I don’t know whether he’s alive or dead.
[01:20:36.55] If he’s alive I wish him the best, and if
he’s dead he’s in my prayers [01:20:39.71]
And that’s all I have to say. [01:22:49.13]

100 comments on “Frank Matthews Story | Al Profit”

  1. True Story says:

    Italian RatBastards๐Ÿ–๐Ÿ–๐Ÿ–

  2. True Story says:

    Frank died in Venezuela where his old connects were.. he lived in NewHaven & Willimantic Connecticut but he finally decided to stay in Venezuela where he died & was burrows peacefully ๐Ÿ™

  3. Jonathan Nelson says:

    I'm amazed how the feds DEA etc have not put up a huge amount of money to find him like they did with Whitey Bulger They say this guy is on the most wanted list how is it this documentary is the only thing about this bloke its like 45 years nobody has done a thing about this man or program on just were the hell he could be

  4. Htxsniper Man says:

    I want Frank dead put him on my hit list

  5. negative nigga says:

    Too good to be true. I guess they killed him

  6. Sarah Love says:

    Hate the fact he abandoned his family

  7. Robert Hayden says:

    ๐Ÿ˜ฏ this was a true story!๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿพ

  8. CHICHI816 says:

    Just learned about him the other day heโ€™s the true Goat

  9. CHICHI816 says:

    With a young loyal bitch unless he killed her

  10. chris c says:

    Wow Al keep up the good work ma man…real interesting work here!
    People might wanna learn something….respect from u.k

  11. tomm smallz says:

    It sounds like they took frank matthews hustle and put Lucas name on it. They salty as fuck!

  12. Eightyfour Atriel says:

    He told the police he was going to take care of it & to leave? Sounds like he was paid & protected to push heroin throughout several communities

  13. djjlc says:

    Sounds like this guy didnโ€™t do anything wrong, leave him alone!! Long live frank!!

  14. thetruthIsAMazing says:

    You aint got to like it…but you gonna love it though…โ˜๐Ÿพโค๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ˜Ž

  15. Brian Means says:

    Why donโ€™t they go after Roman Polanski with the same resources to get him put behind bars???

  16. Dan Alaniz says:

    This is an incredibly well done video. Thanks a million for posting.

  17. 13datone says:

    US Marshal says case still open past few years they've gotten leads which means he's still alive

  18. Kashh Clegg says:

    Durham Boy!!!

  19. john plaid says:

    Seems everyone is fond of saying Matthews and all the other drug king pins would have succeeded in legitimate business but I doubt it. Matthews got into the game at mid level by luck. You have a few thousand and know the right people you can grow that business. It's just a substance sold to desperate people. There will always be a demand for drugs. It's as simple as 1 + 1 = 2.

  20. Goyard Slut says:

    Kowalski analysis

  21. obvioustruths says:

    The Black Panthers always kept it real…refused to turn drugs over to the popo because they would have resold it!

  22. Ugly Boy says:

    This white dude said he was raised ona farm like thatโ€™s not over $100,000 a year income. Bro that amount doesnโ€™t make you poor homie. that makes u affluent af

  23. Quique says:

    @47:40 Except they never did catch him & I'm glad too.

  24. JaieWall says:

    Frank Matthews received assistance by the CIA. His connections in Venezuela contributed greatly.

  25. Tajmah spencer says:

    Good story

  26. Teemow Tee says:

    anyone who sells heroine must die

  27. Adrian P says:

    He beat them.

  28. StrawHat Luffy says:

    This dude and that woman probably dead..the mafia, the govt, or folks in whatever country he went to probably murdered him long ago

  29. Joe Turner says:

    Sounds like a great dad! I hope pushing all that poison on his own people did not bring harm to the community! This is the definition of a sell-out and this is a definition of a whitewash version of acelo

  30. C Car says:

    The government just wants it's money.

  31. RedEyeOfJupiter 2121 says:

    Funny How the language is Different depending on Who The People are :
    *Everyone Else are Called "Drug Distributors" …
    Itilian Gangsters = "Drug Distributors"
    Frank Matthews = "Drug Dealer Using Real Estate as a Front"
    Jewish Heroin Distributors = "Jewish Businessmen"
    who The FBI, DEA, CIA……
    "Just couldn't Seem to Figure Out."
    So The United States Government was Unable to Find out Anything about who They were or what They Did.
    Anything that would Point at Them as Anything Negative is "Anti-Semitic"
    GTFOutta Here With THAT B.S.

  32. happyending tsunami says:

    Heroin destroys people just like tobacco and alcohol. Waiting for the feds to legalize it anytime now. Oh wait… there's too much money in Heroin to be illegal.

  33. Nationalities NBF says:

    This story never changes.. limited education..inflation , and plenty of illegal opportunity to the poor.

  34. Lauren Klitsch says:

    Black panthers doing the right thing destroying drugs the cops selling drugs but somehow the feds destroyed the panthers do yall see whats goin on

  35. callyharley says:

    Fascinating story but at the end of the day the man was a Smack dealer & that's whole heap of shit you be chaining your soul to supplying Heroin to people. Just saying.

  36. FelineFokus says:

    We get it everybody can be wealthy with the exception of the niggas โ˜ปโœŒ

  37. PaulRevere RidesAgain says:

    Don't let them fool you, the 'Jewish businessmen' were Meyer Lansky, and Hyman Larner(Lansky's successor). Lansky was big in the JFK assassination, at one time, he was among the most powerful men in the world. He was the leader of the 'world wide crime syndicate', nothing was done without his approval. The assassination of America's president was pulled off by the CIA(Jewish influence), the Mossad(with Israels blessing), and Meyer Lansky. After Castro took over Cuba, he nationalized Lansky's casinos, the 'bay of pigs' was created to take back Cuba, Kennedy caused it to fail. Lansky had a huge influence in the CIA, together they concocted the bay of pigs plan. Of course the CIA(Jews inside) was also mad at Kennedy for destroying their plan. Israel (David Ben Gurion ) hated Kennedy because Kennedy wanted to stop them from building nuclear weapons, his pressure on them to allow 'inspections' caused Ben Gurion to have a near emotional breakdown. Kennedy mad the Jews mad, that's something many have learned will get you killed, it got him killed.
    They also don't like competition, looks like this Frank Matthews fellow went up against the wrong crowd as well…

  38. Booker Key says:

    Frank Matthews the ๐Ÿ

  39. Booker Key says:

    Never met em but got damn thatโ€™s my nigga โœŠ๐Ÿฟ

  40. Booker Key says:

    Fuck la coasta nostra

  41. Booker Key says:

    I love him heโ€™s my hero

  42. Booker Key says:

    He didnโ€™t miss em he paid em off

  43. terrace Robinson says:

    Eddie Jackson in detroit was way bigger than frank

  44. Muther Hubbardโ€™s Cupboard says:


  45. James Harris says:


  46. Marco The Explorer says:

    Yet the government will bend over backwards for the Italian mob ๐Ÿค” we all know the real mobsters are the boys in blue. Still donโ€™t understand why a black man canโ€™t thrive in America. Yeah drugs are terrible but letโ€™s not forget who helps dump drugs and guns in America.

  47. justin Kassel says:

    Not sure why everyone is so convinced that he escaped and was never heard from again. Itโ€™s a nice story, but the reality is probably that he was murdered. Being in a position like his, as one of the main contacts of heroin via the French connection, there was far to much money at risk to take a chance of frank being caught. He isnโ€™t living in paradise somewhere, odds are, he was murdered, chained up, and dropped into a nice deep spot of the coast.

  48. wise man says:

    They was scared of one blk man like more power then Hitler

  49. wise man says:

    Frank was the man we never like the Italians even today

  50. wise man says:

    Hope u never find him all praise to the drug lord

  51. Sampson Mccaa says:

    Yall heard wat he told the mob " if you touch any of mine , im gonna send a few cars through little italy and we gonna shoot every wop we see" fuckin right. Show dem spaghetti eating mfz whose boss!

  52. Legend Nova all about the sneakers Pitman says:

    Legend โœŠ๐ŸฟโœŠ๐ŸฟโœŠ๐ŸฟโœŠ๐ŸฟโœŠ๐ŸฟโœŠ๐Ÿฟ

  53. Oksana Gilroy says:

    1 mill in 1976 was 4mill of 2019 $$ imagine matthews had easily 10-50million cash stashed personally prior to disappearing let alome all his people that he left a mill here a mill there with plus stash houses all over east coast …or even better 10 kilos raw in a trunk worth 100 million easier to travel with then 50mill cash

  54. Anthony Johnson says:

    It's me I'm frank

  55. Trusno Trusno says:

    Ike "Sargeant Smack" Atkinson….Is who Frank Lucas stole his story from, but Frank Matthews was the coldest to ever do it and escape with the proceeds..Kingpin Freddie Myers, has a legendary story about when he first met Matthews on the plane and when he saw the infamous money wall at Matthews house..Classic Material, Legendary guys man…-Trusno

  56. Renato Shealey says:

    Frank watched this video!

  57. Motherof4 says:

    CIA killed him & the girl. bcuz he brought indictments that proved the government is involved or running the French Connection!! OOPS!

  58. Ceelo suave says:


  59. converse life says:

    Sound like some deep cover CIA type stuff

  60. Reco Smith says:

    One of our finest who did it and didn't snitch on his guys…salute to a general ๐Ÿ…๐Ÿ…๐Ÿ…๐Ÿ…๐Ÿ…

  61. Nino Muhfuggin G says:

    Like a real mfn G๐Ÿคซ closed mouths donโ€™t get the Feds๐Ÿค

  62. HASSASIN ALI says:

    Nixon was in a rage about it because he wasn't eating from the sales of drugs

  63. Ant life says:

    Never caught never told never fold ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

  64. El Stuckey says:

    He was a smart black man too out smart them hunkys #ONBLACKGOD# they canโ€™t locked him up if they did catch him itโ€™s damnn near been 40-50 years he never snitch like frank, nicki Barnes

  65. wakeup says:



  66. Rio Dinero says:

    Damn what a fucking story ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  67. Melvin Williams says:

    He the old man

  68. Antony Moses says:

    who's the man at 6:01?

  69. King Aquarius says:

    Chess Not Checkers

  70. wakeup says:

    FRANK … C.I.A. ?

  71. cory broussard says:

    love your story al but we have to do something on the compton crips the true whole story not a lil part .

  72. Steven J says:

    He probably is a Congressman now. ๐Ÿ™„

  73. John Johnny says:

    So this fucking al profit asshole just enjoy the sound of his own fucking voice cause he sticks himself into every doc that he does..seams like he failed at being "gansta" so next best thing is doing docs about em๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚Just damn he's so fucking annoying

  74. John Johnny says:

    Just feels like he trying way too fucking hard to portray a thick new york accent. Sounds fucking stupid

  75. STONED_MASON says:

    This is some of the best stuff I've ever seen Of course it was the mafia snitching cause they was super jelly cause he was doing it better and looking damn near 30 years younger then all them old ass evil looking so called bosses he over here letting the homies keep 60racks here 40racks there lol mob woulda killed one of those guys cuz if they forgot .. Just imagine what we African-Americans [Hebrews] could have done with OUT wicked whitey alwaysbeing like you black peeps aren' capable of mafia status deals not possible turns out it's the same guy's trying to hinder thed the samecops I made the deal this is hilarious how much all around better don't get me wrong I'm also very saddened to see stories of amazingly successful blacks being torn dow. From the shadows then just act like we don't know why

  76. georgepahountis says:

    Frank was a real rockstar !

  77. cecil blackman says:

    Good for you Frank, good job in not getting caught. I wonder where he is, is he still alive? Inquiring minds wanna know

  78. james dalton says:

    i hope he's still out there somewhere but the CIA would've deleted their asset once he stopped dealing

  79. Millard Washington says:

    Frank played โ€œTHE Game โ€œ and won American society is โ€œgangsterโ€ society The Romans were well organized gangsters as are we

  80. Tahj Mahal says:


  81. gillis gilbert says:

    It's a funny none these people on here mentioned how many lives this piece of drug dealing shit ruined? Nothing but praise????????????????????????????????

  82. Christopher Dual says:

    Know how to leave anything in 30 seconds..

  83. Gertcha says:

    Marvellous Al Profit, a great piece of work.

  84. Tony Delgado says:

    Great video Al, you da man!

  85. Dick Head says:

    The Jewish mafia (CIA) runs the American government through paedophilia and blackmail rings which allows them to control banking, global drug's trade, international terrorist, human trafficking, use their fake ngos and borderless charities.

  86. Biglilvest313 Biglilvest313 says:

    Legend ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ

  87. Rafael Roa says:

    The feds n cops are mad tight ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

  88. Chino Xl says:

    The man was a Genius! As a people? ๐Ÿ‘ˆ If Im broker than kuta brown?! That civil Rights speech is thrown out the door! If I'm starvin? Fu! Im eating! Fu!" I'm not trying to hear it! How ever! Supply and the demand of narcata! Just say no! The abuse of treating blacks and mental stability was pivotal for Blacks back then…..we went/are/will go through. Drug* set us blacks back 50 Got D years

  89. And What says:

    What If The Pigs And The Mob Worked Together ? And Got Him Knocked Off ? Itโ€™s A Possibility . Off The Books Type Shit . Or Is That Just In Movies ???

  90. BENNY HILL MEDIA says:

    + Typical set up for black people where they had no choice they had to survive because they were not given opportunities all under the umbrella of racism.Smh.

  91. Chino Xl says:

    The government? Which can never get caught up. Controls this world and has been established. ,,.must Always be remember! This too shall pass and straight to hell you!!! Go

  92. The New Talker Guy says:

    Wow great production. Good camerawork, coherent story, background music. Very well put together.

  93. The New Talker Guy says:

    It's pretty funny that the investigation began because there were a bunch of minorities showing up to one location with out of state plates. And then later they got onto the ring again because they got a tip from a pharmacist that a black man was purchasing medication that could be used to cut drugs. I mean you could say that this investigation was founded on a basis of racism, but vindicated because of the results.

  94. Jersey Boy says:

    The feds need to stop! 40 years later y'all still got an open case against him?! Ya'll should drop the case just on the fact that it's so fuckin old and he's still alive!

  95. dan coolinism says:

    I'd love to know if he lived

  96. Pablo Styles says:

    Frank Mathews went to jail and luscious Lion Killed cuhz. โ€œSlow and Loudโ€

  97. TooSoonTv says:

    Congratulation. Well done documentary. I just read the book Black Caesar – Ron Chalpesiuk. ๐ŸŒ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท.

  98. Isheen Bucz says:

    The OG superfly !! ๐Ÿ’ฏ

  99. Cody Hardin says: WOW

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